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Typically, when you are in auto mode, if you half-press the shutter, the camera meters. But, even when you don't do that, the camera seems to be continously metering, so you get a pretty accurate picture of what you are going to photograph in the lcd screen. The thing is that, when you half-press the shutter ,it meters again in a more accurate way.

So, how is exactly metering the camera when you are not taking a photo but just pointing?

  • I am not sure if your question is clear. Electronic light meters have been used in photography for almost 100 years and due to their design, most deliver a continuous readout. Modern light meters are of course much more advanced, but continuous metering is still probably easier to implement than spot metering and for most purposes of photography, you will also want to know the anticipated exposure time before you take a picture and not after the picture is taken realize that the camera chose an undesireable exposure time for the particular situation. – jarnbjo Feb 13 at 13:20
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    There are many different kinds of cameras with different metering systems. Your question would make more sense if you specify what camera you are talking about. – bogl Feb 13 at 13:25
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    On most cameras I’ve used, a half press of the shutter release doesn’t start the metering, it holds the metering and focuses. – Eric Shain Feb 13 at 13:51
  • As suggested, the best thing you can do is tell us the make and model and maybe research here and in the owners manual. Different models have different metering options. – user31502 Feb 13 at 14:27
  • Which camera? They're not all the same! – Michael C Feb 14 at 18:48
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Modern cameras feature a built in light meter. The meter measures the intensity of the light that is being reflected by objects in the vista.

Modern cameras feature built-in chip logic to interpret the light meter data. Algorithms (math formulas) then send signals that control functions such as shutter speed, aperture setting and ISO (sensitivity to light). All this action is happening as you compose and focus. Thus chip logic is continuously changing these setting based on conditions.

Because even subtle camera movements, zoom changes, lighting changes, or subject movement will cause data changes – sometimes this results in camera setting swings that might render the setting substandard.

As your skills improve you will recognized that perhaps you might get better results if you override the continually changing data. Perhaps it will be best if you set the exposure by metering a different segment of the vista and then use this data to set the camera.

To accomplish, we swing the camera, as we compose, select that area to meter and then partially depress the shutter release. This action locks the meter reading averting updates. Such technique is an acquired skill that refines our abilities to take great pictures.

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